The NLS Reading Technology Advisory Group (RTAG) needs new members! RTAG meets twice a year to provide feedback on new NLS products and initiatives. Currently, RTAG is focused on updates to BARD, the Braille eReader project, and a “smart speaker” voice-controlled device. Each of these initiatives will have its own working group within RTAG. Meetings—to be attended online—will resume in fall 2020. Although RTAG members can be network library staff, hardware repair volunteers, and other subject matter experts, NLS patrons are especially encouraged to apply to join RTAG. For questions, please contact your local network library or email questions directly to NLS-RTAG@loc.gov. Applications—a statement of your background and qualifications (no more than two pages)—should be submitted to NLS-RTAG@loc.gov by Wednesday, September 30.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) produces minibibliographies to assist staff at cooperating libraries with finding books for local patrons. These minibiographies are bibliographies based on subjects that are narrow in scope. They cover such topics as: prize winners, hobbies, and famous people, to name a few.
Here is a link to a full listing of NLS minibiographies: https://www.loc.gov/nls/braille-audio-reading-materials/lists-nls-produced-books-topic-genre/listings-on-narrow-topics-minibibliographies/
Recently, NLS has produced a minibibliography on changemakers. Changemakers are those people who by their words and actions have made the world a more accessible place for those with disabilities. Some changemakers have fought to make services available to all people regardless of disability. Others have excelled at a sport, an occupation, or an artistic endeavor previously denied to or under-represented by those alternatively abled.
The Changemakers minibibliography is organized alphabetically by subject or area in which the changemaker excelled or made their mark. Some subjects include: Academia, Science, and Service to Blind Individuals.
A couple of Changemakers listed in the minibibliography are Texans: Christine Ha, located under the heading “Food” and Larry Johnson, located under the heading “Media” are both examples of changemakers from the Lone Star State.
To learn more here is a link to NLS’ minibibliography on Changemakers: https://www.loc.gov/nls/braille-audio-reading-materials/lists-nls-produced-books-topic-genre/listings-on-narrow-topics-minibibliographies/changemakers/
NLS has produced three short testimonial videos featuring patrons of the Braille and talking book program. These videos are posted on the Library of Congress YouTube channel. Links with a short description of each video are below.
NLS Braille and Talking Books and Magazines
NLS patrons speak about the benefits of receiving free braille and talking books, magazines, and music materials in the mail: the freedom to read their way. (1:50)
NLS BARD and BARD Mobile
Patrons speak about the benefits of downloading free braille and talking books, magazines, and music materials through the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) and BARD Mobile. (1:55)
NLS Music Materials
Patrons speak about the benefits of receiving free audio, braille, and large-print music scores, texts, and other instructional materials and recordings in the mail or downloading them through BARD. (2:26)